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Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Josh Freeman will be signing with the Vikings according to many reports. While I know many folks who are skeptical of Freeman's future, I think a lot of people have been hopeful he'd land in Minnesota. Based on what little has been reported about the Buccaneers, it's hard not to think that Tampa Bay is a poorly run organization from the top-down.

I spoke with a young player who had stints with multiple teams over a four-year period and one of them was Tampa during the Rahim Morris regime. The stark contrast between at least two of these organizations and the Buccaneers was startling. This player, who I've talked to enough times to know that he's a worker, told me that he was somewhat relieved when he joined another team.

It's just a one-year deal, but I think Freeman earns a chance to reboot his image, re-sign with the Vikings, and become the team's starter -- on a team with enough talent and support for Freeman to make more of his own talent than before.

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47 comments, Last at 08 Oct 2013, 9:09pm

1 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Incredibly logical place for him to go. I live in the area, and look forward to having to answer about five thousand "how's Josh Freeman going to be" questions over the next couple days.

2 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Wonder how fast the Vikes can be done with the Ponderous era and on to the Freeman era... though to be honest, it's not as if the Vikes have shown any talent at QB coaching. Hopefully, they can show us that its always been a talent/scouting issue with their QB results, rather than a total failure to QB coach.

3 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Interesting opportunity for the Vikings. Usually, missing on a 1st round QB pick screws you up for a decent amount of time, both because of the commitment that you've made and because young 1st round QBs almost never become available as free agents.

Here, because of the weird circumstances around Freeman, they get a chance to plug in a young QB with good pedigree on the fly and see if he can turn into a franchise player. Freeman of course is not perfect, but let's say there's...what, a 25% chance he turns into a quality starter for them? Not bad for the Vikings-- a 1 in 4 chance they get to erase their Ponder mistake for almost no cost.

4 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

It seems like this says as much about the Vikes' interest in Cassell as it does Ponder. I wonder if Cassell gets the yank, which would be odd since it seemed like he played fairly well in his last start ( I know that he's not all that good, but Freeman hasn't been all that good for awhile, either ).

9 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Both Freeman and Cassel have done something that Ponder never has, which is have a decent season as a starting qb. Cassel will start, I've got to believe, until Freeman can call the plays, assuming the Vikings don't go on an extended wining streak, which is a pretty safe assumption.

Hopefully, The Ponderous One was only renting a home in Minnesota. Then again, real estate agents gotta eat too, I guess.

Kudos to Rick Spielman for keeping his mouth shut until it was time to slit throats. It would have been better to not draft a guy, in the top half of the 1st round, who had never shown any talent above the norm, other than running decently fast when he couldn't identify where to throw the ball, but, hey, better much too late than never.

12 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

That whole draft had a running thread of crazy through it. That was the lockout draft, remember. There was a large contingent of people saying that teams were drafting QBs solely because they wanted to make sure they had a QB for the next year, since they couldn't sign one in free agency.

For that purpose, you blow a first round pick and set your franchise back for years. What idiots.

16 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

As a fan of an NFC North rival, I have to say I'm relieved that the Vikings threw away three games before making this move, because if Freeman can learn the playbook and recapture any of his form from 2010 or the first 11 games of 2012, Minnesota can win a lot of the games they would have otherwise lost with Mr. Steele.

27 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

The idea that Ponder had never shown any talent is either ignorant, revisionist or both.

He was the top quarterback draft prospect entering the 2010 season. In fact, the only reason he wasn't already in the NFL was a late-season shoulder separation that ended his great 2009. The questions about him were health -- the shoulder separation and a misdiagnosed elbow injury that plagued him in 2010 -- and deep arm strength. He was a good decision-maker, very mobile, and could make all the short-to-intermediate throws.

28 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Saying someone is a "good decision maker" after all of 33 starts in college, to say nothing of the 22 he had through 2009, is just unwise. A contrast with Russell Wilson is illustrative; one could be a lot more confident in Wilson's decision making before the draft, simply because had started almost 50 games in college.

Ponder has never, at least since 2010, shown anything but a mediocre arm by NFL qb standards. His performance actually slid in his last year in college, which is never a good sign, no matter what one says about the quality of his medical care. The only thing that could be said for certain about him being above average is running fast, and that just doesn't translate into a qb pick in the top half of the first round.

30 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

The 2011 draft is really interesting in retrospect, just 2 years later. I would love to read why professional scouts thought Ponder and Gabbert were superior prospects to Andy Dalton.

Kaepernick I can understand, because he's such a non-traditional prospect.

32 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

I remember at the time thinking that every single QB taken in the first round was an absurd reach - that Newton had enough upside to merit a first rounder but was far too risky to take first overall (an attitude that looking back was mistaken, not because he's worked out, but because the change in rookie contracts makes taking that risk at #1 justifiable), that Dalton, Ponder, Gabbert and (in his very different way) Kaepernick would all have been perfectly reasonable selections in the second round, and that Locker oughtn't to have gone before day 3.

47 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Joe Webb can't throw the ball accurately enough to a successful NFL qb. There's a reason nearly every team who looked at him coming out of college wanted to switch him to receiver, even before we get to other elements of quarterbacking..

38 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

What did Jim Brown do? Other than his outspoken opinions regarding civil rights, I don't remember any controversy with him. And he was hardly the only player who talked about it. I also wouldn't say the Browns compromised their morals by that. There were several players and teams that were very supportive of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's.

13 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Tampa drops to about 60-70 degrees around this time of year, and down to 50-60 by December/January. That's spring in Minneapolis. Instead of playing out the string of a meaningless season in at least tolerable warmth, Freeman is going to be playing out the string of a meaningless season wondering how the hell its possible to get this cold.

Still, its a good signing all round. He's potentially a big upgrade on what they have, it lets the front office look like they aren't just burying their head in the sand (metaphor Josh, its snow) and assuming their current QBs are fine, and its a pretty good opportunity for Freeman to come in and start quickly - how difficult can it be to learn an offense based around giving it to another dude and getting out of the way?

34 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

He grew up in KC, which is pretty bleak in February too.

More to the point, several QBs who grew up in warm climates have done well in the snow belt. Favre grew up about 10 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Rodgers is from California's Central Valley (albeit the far north end). Tom Brady is from just south of San Francisco. Joe Ferguson grew up in Louisiana. Even further back in time, Bart Starr was from Alabama and Bobby Layne from Texas. I don't think it will be that big an issue. Or maybe that's why he wanted a one-year deal.

17 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Good luck to him. From afar it sure seemed like the Tampa Bay situation was not conducive to a guy having consistent success.

19 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

I don't get the Vikings giving Freeman $3 million this year in a one year deal. He's not going to turn the team around and get them to the playoffs this season, not coming in a quarter of the way through and not knowing the playbook. He'd be more helpful next year, but he'll be a FA then. Why not give him a 2 year deal for less annual money?

24 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

reports are the Vikings wanted a 2 year deal - Freeman didn't.

It makes sense to me. They have the right to Franchise him - not that you can envision paying him 15 million for 1 year. But if he comes in a plays like he did a couple of years ago and you want to sign him - you have some leverage if you want to use it.

If he sucks. You're drafting a QB in the 2014 draft.

26 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Good mlve for Vikings. Freeman has more ability than Ponder and Cassel. Kust have to start getting decent coaching now. Horrible coaches in Tampa Bay he had.

29 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Interesting comments from the unnamed player because despite the problems during the Raheem Morris era that's when Freeman played well. It was just under Schiano that he completely fell apart. Clearly, they're a terribly run franchise, but it was only under Morris that Freeman looked like an NFL QB. I can't help but wonder if part of the problem was the desire to do absolutely everything differently than Morris just to show the world how horrible he was.

43 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Freeman was also pretty phenomenal for a stretch last year; during a six-game span, he had 16 TDs and 3 INTs. Things went off the wheels at season's end with a pair of four-pick games, but even mid-season last year the guy was looking to be an excellent QB. Whether it was lack of good QB coaching or pure, unadulterated hatred between him and Schiano was the cause of the decline, he was really great in the middle of the year last year.

So, he was recently capable of playing well, it's just things went very wrong very quickly.

31 Raiders release Flynn

In other QB news...Where will Flynn end up, if anywhere? Tampa...Jets?

35 Re: Raiders release Flynn

In reply to by BigWoody (not verified)

I've seen Browns fans argue he is better than Weeden (no...) and therefore worth consideration (maybe as a backup as I do think he's better than Campbell.)

Maybe a few hours east on Lake Erie (I'm not convinced he could beat out Thad Lewis, though.)

44 Re: Raiders release Flynn

Jets dong need Flynn. Byccs do not need either.

Nobody needs Flynn now. Some tema will sign guy next year just to have on roster for insurance but will not gett shot to start anywhere for quite some tkme

42 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

I like Freeman;Schiano fighting a war to 'change the culture' is sick; talent wise a super bowl level team;worst coaching since....maybe Joe Walton w/ jets;There should be a matt millen award for incompetent leadership;drafting Glennon[whos 2 years away if he makes it ] then not nominating Freeman for captain;then publicizing his errors;if u don't want him ,don't sabotage his value;build it + trade him;On another front i think Cassell is very underrated ;a decent #1 qb or very good#2 poor guy can't get a break.nflalternative.com

45 Re: Josh Freeman Signs with Vikings

Mike Tainer gave his take of Freeman, and it's a pessimistic outlook.